chobham-academy-islamic-holiday
Education

Chobham Academy makes Islamic religious observance mandatory for pupils of all faiths

According to Ofsted, Chobham Academy in the London Borough of Newham is an outstanding school. It is important to begin with that observation, because the school’s leaders, governors and sponsor (Harris Federation) clearly have high expectations of pupils and teachers, and academic attainment is high. The Academy’s vision works: its ethos is admirable; its culture exemplary. Last year’s Ofsted inspection notes: “Pupils come from a wide range of minority ethnic groups. The biggest groups are Black African and those of Asian heritage. The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is above average.” To be rated ‘outstanding’ across the board, when the ethnic intake is complex and the number of disadvantaged pupils is well above the national average, is something to celebrate indeed.

Newham is a diverse borough. The most recent Local Economic Assessment observes:

Newham’s population is one of the most ethnically diverse in London. In 2009, 64.6% of residents were recorded as being non-white. Of these 20.5% were Pakistani or Bangladeshi, 18.1% were Black, 11.5% were Indian and 14.4% were either of mixed ethnic origin or from another non-white ethnic group.

The religion breakdown reflects this: Christianity (40%); Islam (32%); Irreligion (9.3%); Hindu (8.8%); Sikh (2.1%); Buddhist (0.8%); Jewish (0.1%); Other (6.9%). Since Chobham Academy is non-selective, its intake is likely to reflect these proportions, which makes the fact that it partially closed on Monday this week in celebration of the the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha a little disconcerting. Of course, not all those who were forced to take this holiday were obliged to sacrifice a goat. Nor are they forced to believe that Allah appeared to Ibrahim and told him to sacrifice his son Ishmael. But all pupils in the school’s nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 2 were obliged to take this holiday irrespective of their own culture or beliefs. The reason, the headteacher explained, is because of the “high number of staff requesting leave for religious observance”.

This is an interesting because DfE guidelines determine that absence for religious observance must be treated as authorised. So all the Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu and atheist-agnostic children who were forced to miss a day’s education because of Eid al-Adha were authorised to do so, even though their parents hadn’t requested it, and didn’t want it. Doesn’t the mandatory authorisation of alien religious observance amount to an unjust edict and wrongful imposition?

And before you shout ‘racist’, or insist that it’s no different when Muslims (Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, etc) are forced to take holidays at Christmas and Easter, it really is. According to an imminent government report by Dame Louise Casey on social integration, “traditions such as Christmas celebrations will die out unless people stand up for British values“.

..Waves of immigration have rapidly changed the character of some state schools and left residents in parts of Britain feeling unsettled..

If your non-Muslim child went to Chobham Academy and was suddenly obliged by the phases of the moon to take an Islamic holiday, wouldn’t you feel a little unsettled? There’s no suggestion that this school cancels Christmas or bans Easter eggs to avoid offending Muslims: the enforced Eid al-Adha holiday was apparently a matter of staffing logistics. They simply have so many Muslim teachers that the school couldn’t function safely during Islamic holidays when so many of them want time off. This is really quite baffling. Hasn’t the Headteacher, governing body or Harris Federation heard of supply teachers? Is it really beyond the wit of a senior leadership to cope creatively without a number of staff for one day? Or is it simply that it’s easier and cheaper to give everybody a day off, because an academy, after all, must be run as a competitive business?

Religious liberty is a British value, but the mandatory layoff to celebrate an Islamic festival is not. And anyone who cries that this should also apply to Christmas and Easter is propagating the same malignant politically-correct coercion which is undermining British traditions, values and customs. You may consider it ‘racist’ that anyone should object to non-Muslim children being deprived of their education because of teachers from a Pakistani or Bangladeshi background. But this is the same denial, the same fear of offence, the same hyper-sensitivity which allowed the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham by a group of men whose ethnicity and religion no-one dare name.

Dame Louise Casey says: “We need to be much bolder in not just celebrating our history, heritage and culture, but standing up for our democratically decided upon laws of the land… I have become convinced that it is only the upholding of our core British laws, cultures, values and traditions that will offer us the route map through the different and complex challenge of creating a cohesive society.”

By all means, let Muslim teachers and pupils celebrate their holy festivals: that is a necessary liberty and a social good. But let’s not impose an Islamic day of rest upon all citizens from every background because a minority believes that Ishmael was favoured over Isaac. It is our Christian heritage which is culturally cohesive, and it is Christian laws and traditions which determine and define how we live together. They forged the historic foundations of our common good. A school community must respect that, lest it atomise into a myriad of equal faith demands under a coercive, anti-discriminatory aegis of secularity, with each god in the pantheon competing for dominance in the hierarchy.

  • Slack Alice

    I thought school teachers had a different pattern of annual leave from other jobs. With other jobs you have a set number of days per year which you book off. Teachers have their school term holidays. Everyone has special leave for bereavement etc.
    The Head teacher was complicit in the islamification of the school culture and ethos. By agreeing to this once it sets a precedent.
    With so many Muslim teachers how does the school accommodate their prayer routines?

  • len

    The process that is happening in Europe would have been inconceivable fifty years ago.As Christianity has been pushed back we have seen the rise of Islam within Europe.
    ‘The religion breakdown reflects this: Christianity (40%); Islam (32%)’ The two seem to act like ‘balances on a scale’ Christianity down Islam up.
    I wonder if secularists ever considered the possibility of this effect ever happening as they set about attempting to destroy the Christian foundations in Europe?.
    I suppose the outcome of the errors of secularism with have to be a multi faith culture which is the way things are going with the most aggressive religion becoming dominant.

    • Anton

      Christians will always ultimately be OK. But secularists have sewn the wind, and will reap the whirlwind.

      • Pubcrawler

        “sewn the wind”

        Into a bag, like Aeolus?

        • The Explorer

          No. Like Hosea. With Aeolus there was a chance as long as you kept the contents of the bag contained. Not the case here.

          • Pubcrawler

            I know

          • The Explorer

            I know you know. Of course I do. The point I was wanting to make was that with Hosea there’s no escaping the consequences, and with Aeolus there could be.

            Fascinating how with both the Aeolus story and the Pandora story we see echoes of the story of Eden.

        • Anton

          Corrected! Not like bagpipes…

      • dannybhoy

        Unlike you Anton..

  • magnolia

    Not sure this is an immense issue. Surely the Christian and other faiths teachers could do some Ofsted training and the local churches could organise some holiday club activities for parents who need to go to work, if properly notified.

    • Pubcrawler

      According to the Breitbart report, ‘religious leaders’ didn’t announce the date until ten days ago. Does that give enough time to make alternative arrangements? I don’t know.

      • magnolia

        I don’t know. For most I would guess yes, but not for all. Difficult where both parents work, I would guess. Workplaces have to be understanding, but for the parent each time he or she has to ask for time off at short notice is an embarrassment.

        Sometimes churches can arrange activities for children with proper supervision by DBS checked folk at 10 days notice, but other times not. At any rate at a pragmatic level it gives an opportunity to let Christian , even nominally Christian families acquaint themselves a bit more about what their faith entails.

        • Pubcrawler

          “it gives an opportunity to let Christian , even nominally Christian
          families acquaint themselves a bit more about what their faith entails”

          Indeed, Coniston’s anecdote is a good one.

    • Coniston

      On a recent internet blog some local churches produced a simple catechism for youngish children (taught in Sunday School?). They decided to involve the parents who, somewhat to their surprise, became very interested and joined in – the parents themselves had only a slender grasp of the Christian faith and wished to learn more, with their children.

  • Anton

    Meanwhile, a senior Luxembourg politician has suggested that Hungary be thrown out of the EU for (mainly) its attitude to migrants/refugees. Perhaps this is how the UK could get Brexit done? Hungary is wise enough not to want problems like the one highlighted by His Grace, and is pointedly phrasing the question in its October referendum as follows:

    Do you want the European Union to be able to mandate the obligatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens into Hungary even without the approval of the National Assembly?

    • The Explorer

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Germany could be thrown out of the EU for its attitude to migrants?

      • Orwell Ian

        It would be even more wonderful if the whole rotten edifice collapsed and there was nothing left to Brexit from.

  • The Explorer

    “Hasn’t the Headteacher, governing body or Harris Federation heard of supply teachers? Is it really beyond the wit of a senior leadership to cope creatively without a number of staff for one day?”

    1. Unless the absent teachers took unpaid leave, hiring a lot of supply teachers would come expensive.

    2. What if there’s a regulation somewhere about what proportion of a school’s staff can be supply teachers at any given time, and this would have exceeded it?

    3. What if the pool of available supply teachers were insufficiently large to meet the demand? (If other Muslim teachers in the area, for instance, were also, taking the day off, and supply teachers were needed there as well.)

    4. You could presumably collapse the timetable, combine classes, do extra PE or have the kids watching films etc, but since they wouldn’t be doing proper lessons anyway they might as well have the day off.

    • Rhoda

      According to the Education Order of 1987
      (1) After 1st August 1987—

      (a)a teacher employed full-time, other than in the circumstances described in subparagraph (c), (that refers to staff in a residential setting) shall be available for work for 195 days in any year, of which 190 days shall be days on which he may be required to teach pupils in addition to carrying out other duties; and those 195 days shall be specified by his employer or, if the employer so directs, by the head teacher;

      Schools have lists of the circumstances allowed for paid or unpaid leave,e.g.family funerals and require some degree of notice so that supply teachers can be booked. Given the percentage of Muslim pupils mentioned(who would probably also have been absent) and sufficient notice from the staff concerned that they intended to be absent, it should have been straightforward to arrange supply and/or a collapsed timetable.
      This is not equivalent to closing the school for bad weather.

      • The Explorer

        Thank you. The difference between an unanticipated situation and a planned one. How far the impact of immigration was unanticipated , and how far it was planned is one off the imponderables debated before on this Blog.

  • It is unarguable that ‘our Christian heritage’ and ‘Christian laws and traditions’ laid the ‘foundations of our common good’. Christianity, and institutions such as the traditional family of married parents and their children, play a vital role in binding us into a nation, and anyone who wished us harm would seek to undermine both, the one by opening our borders to one of Christianity’s historic enemies and the other by promoting and glamorizing alternative lifestyles.

    With due respect to Dame Louise, it is impossible to uphold ‘core British laws, cultures, values and traditions’ when those with the power to uphold them, our main political parties, are in the process of trashing them, and have been for the last 70 years. And if you thought the churches might raise the occasional whimper over Britain becoming Muslim, think again.

    Island nation in distress seeks new leaders, political and religious, who will not betray its people.

    • Anton

      Please don’t lump all churches together in that, but I do agree. Those who speak so freely of British values never define them, and it is obvious why.

    • bluedog

      The illness of The Hillary could lead to the triumph of The Donald. In which case things are going to change. Dramatically.

      • dannybhoy

        ‘good’ dramatically or ‘scary’ dramatically? From all I have read about Hillary and Bill Clinton (allegations of corruption, the teachings of Saul Alinsky, donations for influence, high rate of mortality amongst key staff etc.) I don’t believe Hillary would be good for America. But Donald Trump? As President?

        • bluedog

          Scary. If the US electorate perceives that Hillary is too frail for the job of POTUS, the Donald wins. She may be recurrently sick and too weak to campaign, even if she doesn’t withdraw. If she does withdraw, the Democrats would need to push Joe Biden forward quickly as a substitute and give him a credible VP. They would have to pick someone with immediate brand recognition rather than a cleanskin, as their presidential candidate. There are no precedents although Carl would be able to advise.

          If Trump gets in and does half of what his campaign rhetoric promises there’s going to be chaos. Carl has earlier suggested that Trump would never be able to manage Washington, which may turn out to be a good thing.

          • dannybhoy

            I’ve heard that Bill might replace Hillary or Barack might stay on and declare martial law…
            The thing is that the States has been moving away from Capitalism towards the European Socialist State model, as a stepping stone to a one world government.
            Especially under Obama, and likely to continue under Hillary if she got elected..The US Constitution is being ignored and government diktats implemented.
            Very interesting times we live in.
            (This darn site is jumping around like crazy!)

          • bluedog

            ‘Barack might stay on and declare martial law…’

            That actually makes sense, although not the martial law bit. It could be argued that the elections should be held over for six months or even a year.

          • IanCad

            The military would never stand for that. Their oath is to uphold The Constitution.

          • bluedog

            Thanks, IC. One imagines that the US Supreme Court would be called to sprinkle holy water on any extension of Obama’s term. However, one notes that Hillary has declared herself fit and well. Undoubtedly another lie, Bill just wants a third term in the White House.

          • Bernard from Bucks

            “This darn site is jumping around like crazy!”
            Thank heavens I’m not alone in suffering this,
            I thought it was my PC?

      • Some think she has Parkinson’s, I tend to think they might be right.

    • Coniston

      “And if you thought the churches might raise the occasional whimper over Britain becoming Muslim, think again.” It appears to be happening in Sweden. When will it start here? See:
      https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/8920/sweden-church-immigration

      • @ Coniston—‘These Christian leaders betray not only the Swedish people, but they also betray the God that they promised to serve’. I agree.

      • IanCad

        And from your link, comes this gem, from a priest at St. Peters Church, Malmö:

        “The rainbow in the Pride Flag is also a sign of the promise between God and man”.

  • The Explorer

    Let’s accept there’s such a high proportion of Muslim teachers that if they’re not there en masses the school can’t function.

    What’s the answer? To say that no, you can’t have the day off for the sake of your religion? Say that, and you are interfering with people’s right to practise the totality of their religion. Or do we say you can practise only those aspects of your religion that don’t interfere with the laws of the state? Sweden has run unto that issue by banning FGM. The issue on this thread may seem trivial, but it goes far beyond schools; and, indeed, beyond Islam. As Christianity is finding out.

  • dannybhoy

    “Dame Louise Casey says: “We need to be much bolder in not just
    celebrating our history, heritage and culture, but standing up for our
    democratically decided upon laws of the land… I have become convinced
    that it is only the upholding of our core British laws, cultures, values
    and traditions that will offer us the route map through the different
    and complex challenge of creating a cohesive society.”

    Where has she and others like her been for the last 40 years? Anyone remember Ray Honeyford?
    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=In+the+80's+a+head+teacher+warned+that+Islam+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b&gfe_rd=cr&ei=juLXV9-1GpKCaMOYqNgF

    A multicultural society cannot work unless one culture is pre-eminent and sets the laws and values by which that society functions. The idiots who piously proclaimed that “all faiths are of equal value” should have asked themselves one simple question…
    “Why then does everybody want to come to the West?”

  • Paul Dean

    I think you’re way off with this one, your Grace. I teach in a school which didn’t close yesterday and half the pupils were missing. The school must plan it’s holidays and if it plans ahead so a couple of non-school days happen to coincide with days when half the students and staff are absent, surely that is just good sense? In that way no-one one misses a day.

    • The Explorer

      That’s a good point. How many of the kids were away as well?

    • There are so many school holidays already, and the school day is a short one, when do the kids actually learn anything I wonder?

      • Anton

        And half the curriculum is PC twaddle.

  • bluedog

    ‘Doesn’t the mandatory authorisation of alien religious observance amount to an unjust edict and wrongful imposition?’

    But with 32% of pupils being Muslim you can hardly claim that Islam is alien, Your Grace. It’s domestic, and increasingly so. And therein lies the problem. The values and customs of Islam are replacing those of the current hegemonial culture by sheer weight of numbers, failing which there is pain of death.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Who is being forced to do what? British values are meaningless without considering that Christianity is the religion of the state and all other religions in the UK must be subject to the laws of our land as founded on our Christian beliefs.

    Other religions must make accommodation to this country’s traditions and beliefs just as we have to abide by the laws and traditions in Muslim states.

    We are giving too much ground to the immigrant religions out of fear of offence. His Grace is right to speak strongly on the subject and as a former teacher, he should know.

    Blue dog claims it can’t be alien becuse there are 32% of them, but as far as the nation as a whole is concerned it is. Should sufficient Muslims group in one area, which they probably have, and form an overwhelming majority, should we give them autonomy of governance with no respect to the Government at Westminster? Perhaps that is how the Scot’s and Welsh see themselves but history tells us something else.

    • bluedog

      ‘Should sufficient Muslims group in one area, which they probably have, and form an overwhelming majority,’ … the munificent British state will grant them an emirate on their demand in the interest of inclusiveness. Now don’t get clever and point out the logical fallacy. This is merely a prediction about the likely course of events.

    • The Explorer

      “We are giving too much ground to the immigrant religions out of fear of offence.” Or, increasingly, just out of fear.

    • The Explorer

      The Muslims against Crusaders (the ones with the ‘Child Murderers’ placards who booed the troops returning from Iraq) demanded exactly what you have outlined. They wanted Islamic republics in Tower Hamlets, Bradford and Dewsbury.

  • Orwell Ian

    Mr Elms was a “super head” at his old school, where he was thought to be Britain’s highest paid headteacher with a staggering £276,000 salary. Perhaps he might like to donate a slice of his remuneration to the considerable number of parents who were forced into unplanned expense for childcare at short notice. He doesn’t strike me as much of a leader. We cannot have ginger groups of any religious affiliation closing down schools. Give such people an inch and they’ll be back for a mile. The parents are absolutely livid but Chairman May will probably bless him with a knighthood for demonstrating one of “the many ways communities connect with each other and enrich our nations life” and for helping to ensure “that our communities go from strength to strength”.

    https://youtu.be/WyaKZC6Pc4I

  • Jon Sorensen

    We see this more and more. Christians are happy to enforce Christian holidays and blue laws on everyone else, but get upset when they have to follow someone else’s religious rules. They are crying when they are being treated equally and are not able to keep their privileges.

    • David

      That is merely a cheap shot at Christianity, revealing a philosophically shallow and totally impractical approach. Totally equality is an impossible juvenile dream. A successful, harmonious single society cannot run on competing systems, all jockeying for supremacy. Bedlam, inequality, poverty and near anarchy would result. Then the public will reject such dysfunction, and vote for a horribly forceful, repressive government, which few would now want.

      To avoid such a future, one system must provide the guiding paradigm, this acting as the framework, within which acceptable degrees of difference can all co-exist harmoniously.

      • CliveM

        He specialises in cheap shots.

        • David

          I’ve noticed.

      • DanJ0

        Secular liberalism?

      • Jon Sorensen

        Privileged Christians are a bit too easy target for a “cheap shot”, but interesting that your first thought was a “cheap shot” and didn’t realise how special protection and position Christians actually have in the UK.

        “Totally equality is an impossible juvenile dream.”
        Privileged people usually build a “Totally”-kind of strawman while enjoying their privileged position. Underprivileged people will act and try to make society *more* equal.

        “A successful, harmonious single society cannot run on competing systems, all jockeying for supremacy”
        Reality does not support your assertions. Most democracies have competing systems jockeying for leadership all the time. You should read world news occasionally.

        “Then the public will reject such dysfunction, and vote for a horribly forceful, repressive government, which few would now want.”
        It surely is dangerous to let people to vote regarding their future. Surely we can’t trust people opinion? LOL. You comments has a bad smell of overused privilege position.

        • David

          That is such absolute shallow nonsense, legally, philosophically, politically and historically it is not even worth answering.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I guess you didn’t have answer to Blue Laws, Church not paying taxes, religious exemptions, old blasphemy laws, seat in upper house…. endless list of privileges…

            Christians always dismiss those as “nonsense” as privileged groups always do….

    • The Explorer

      We took a British tap to our house in France, but the French pipes wouldn’t fit it. We managed with adapters, but that shouldn’t have been necessary. The French should have changed the size of their pipes to suit us.

      • David

        An amusing but powerful practical comparison there.

      • DanJ0

        I expect almost all of the Muslims in question are British, and a fair few of them will have been born British too.

        • The Explorer

          Consider Michael Adebolajo. He was born in Lambeth, and grew up in Romford. But he said, after killing Lee Rigby, “Tell your government to stop killing my people.” He meant the Afghans, and he was killing an enemy soldier. Powerful thing, the global Ummah. In his case. much more powerful than being British.

          • bluedog

            Exactly right. This is the fatal delusion of multiculturalism. There is an irreconcilable contradiction in the idea that antithetically different cultures can peacefully co-exist within one ‘safe space’, to use the popular expression. It doesn’t matter which, but the rules of natural selection demand that one culture will dominate. We can see the challenge to the hegemonial culture, that of the white British, slowly ramping up in its intensity and credibility as a threat. Hence this post. It won’t end well, and as yet, we don’t quite have the will to win. Still saying ‘sorry’ at every opportunity. One detects signs of change among elite opinion, still comfortably behind public opinion, nonetheless.

          • IanCad

            Makes me reconsider my uptick to DanJO.

          • DanJ0

            They’re not really British despite being British, is what you were actually saying. Which begs the question of what constitutes being British. Presumably as a Christian you hold your political allegiance above any allegiance to the so-called Body of Christ.

          • The Explorer

            My original point was,’ When in France, do as the French do. ‘ That was the principle I followed when I lived there.

            Regarding your first sentence, that would be true only if all were of the same mind as Michael A. And they aren’t. But some are, and that fact can’t be ignored.

            In Locke’s ‘Essay on Toleration’, he wanted to exclude Catholics because their first loyalty was – had to be – elsewhere. It can’t be otherwise, with an international rather than national church, like the C of E. I suppose I try to follow Luther’s two kingdoms. Obey the authorities as far as you can, but there may be circumstances when you can’t.

            Muslims and Christians, I suppose, both put their faith ahead of their country. ‘Hebrews’ sums it up for me. We are strangers in the world. Travellers. Here is no abiding city.

            As to what is a Briton. No idea.

      • bluedog

        Just the French to be ignorant of the merits of BSP.

        • Merchantman

          or of Imperial measurements in general.

      • Eustace

        What a pointless little story.

        Pipes are physical things that can’t be ripped out and changed across the entire country just to please a foreigner with delusions of grandeur.

        Religious festivals are immaterial. They require no expensive infrastructure work to set up. The day on which Eid is celebrated won’t have to be scaffolded and upgraded at a cost of millions. Sure, if it’s made a public holiday then GDP will suffer. But no upfront investment is required. So it’s nothing like a pipe network and the comparison is an utterly false one.

        Not the first time that the person making such a ludicrous claim has dragged a massive red herring across a debate in a vain attempt to head off opposition. Probably not the last. Next thing we’ll be hearing that if gays can get married now, he should be allowed to marry his gas pipes.

        Hope I’m not anywhere near the happy couple’s home on the wedding night when the groom decides to light one up after having his way with his slim and whiffy new bride…

        • The Explorer

          “What a pointless little story.” The history of the human race, if atheism is correct.

          I see you’ve lost none of your ability to miss the point. Is it wilful, or endemic? If the latter, I suppose you aren’t in a position to say.

          • Eustace

            Wait a sec’ … aren’t you supposed to be ignoring me?

            Well this is clearly a miracle! Evidence of the Lord at work! He overcomes all technological barriers and the childish tantrums thrown by his followers by forcing them to face the voice of reason that sears their conscience. Hence the bitchy and irritated tone of the reply…

            So how did my post reach you, then? Did it appear in midair before your eyes floating on a divine cloud propelled by singing angels? Did de Lawd Jayzuz Chraist tattoo it in phosphorescent ink on the inside of your eyelids while you slept, so that whenever you blinked, there it was, burning its subliminal message of truth into your soul? Or did you discover it on a grilled cheese sandwich, which presumably (following an established Christian precedent) you’ll now whack on eBay and sell for a profit, with all proceeds going to a registered charity, namely The Explorer’s Christian Charitable Society and Slush Fund?

            Ah well, however it happened, one thing is certain. Having flounced out of the room like an outraged empress vowing never again to deign to notice my comments, you certainly can’t have changed your mind and read them of your own free will. That would be evidence of an impetuous, unreliable, hysterical and gurly-gurl character that no upright and true streadfast Christian man could possibly display. So it must have been a miracle. Either that or an evil device of the Enemy.

            Oops! And you fell for it.
            Hook, line and sinker, it would appear.

            Mouah, hah, hah!

          • The Explorer

            “So how did my post reach you, then?” A reply appeared for me with, ‘This user is blocked’. I didn’t call you; you called me. Clearly, you couldn’t keep away. So, as I said above, “Since I saw you’d said something to me lower down on the thread, I thought I’d unblock you for a bit to see where you’re at. Hope it’s worth it.” Actually, it isn’t.

            “vowing never again to deign to notice my comments,” Where did I say that? I did say somewhere that if I unblocked you after a couple of months I’d probably find the same old stuff. QED. Granted, not a couple of months, but it would have been if you hadn’t contacted me.

          • Eustace

            Ah, the outraged empress just can’t help herself, can she? Scared she may reveal her own irrelevance if she fails to fill the silence with the futile and empty sound of her own voice.

            I tendered a hook. You bit. Should the fish blame the fisherman for its gasping demise? Or should it kick itself in the fins for being stupid enough to fall into the trap?

            But that’s the problem with dumb animals. They just can’t help themselves. Instinct, unthinking aggression and Pavlovian reflexes lead them on to their doom.

            I snapped my fingers, you came running. That’s all we need to know about your true feelings for the secular world. You just can’t exist without us, can you? And we like to demonstrate our ability to make you jump through hoops from time to time. It throws a spotlight on the real balance of power in this world and shows others who’s really in charge. This gets them thinking about what they really believe.

            So, not to mix my metaphors yet again, but come to heel, doggy. Every secular individual should have a tame Christian pet. They’re snappy, bad tempered little things. But their entertainment value makes their malodorous, deluded and fractious company almost worthwhile.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Great that French provided your system an elegant method how to conveniently interconnect to a complex system without inconveniencing the whole society! Isn’t it great that superior French engineers have created a system where everyone can bring their own tap and join the system. And great that French don’t force you to use their taps or even their water if you don’t like! … unlike Christians who enforce they holidays, blasphemy/hate speech laws and blue laws to everyone else.

        Also keep in mind Christians stole those holiday from pre-Christian religions and traditions, and claimed that they own those. Then Christians force everyone to follow their holidays. Now you don’t like when the same thing is done to you…

        • The Explorer

          Actually the adapter nuts were British.

          • Jon Sorensen

            French are so great. They can even implement a complex system that accepts metric and imperial bolts and nuts. They are so friendly and tolerant.

          • The Explorer

            Quite simple, really. The nut is British size one end, and French size the other. You connect the French end to the French pipe, and the British end to the British tap. SImples. French co-operation doesn’t come into it. The French would have said I should have bought a French tap. (I did for the other rooms, but this tap was good quality, and available and in my possession, and it seemed a shame to waste it. The French ouvriers liked it, apart from thinking that the ‘C’ on it stood for ‘Chaud’ and no idea of what the ‘H’ meant. (And patronising comments, of course, in French, about how the crazy British can’t even make a tap the right size.)

          • Jon Sorensen

            “French co-operation doesn’t come into it.”
            On the contrary. Their system allowed you to bring your own tradition to their system and be a part of a whole national system. French system then provided cheap water and you were able to be part of the multi-cultural water system.

  • David

    His Grace is absolutely right to speak out forcefully about these matters.
    Immigrants come to the west because it is successful. That success is based on its deep Judaeo-Christian culture blended with Enlightenment values, powered economically by partially restrained capitalism. Each western nation state has its own local cultural expression and variant of this generalised position.

    The UK’s cultures, comprising our four constituent nations, reflects our very particular island nation history, with our Common Law, protestant established Church and global, mercantile outlook. All those factors combine to attract people here because it IS Britain; however if we do not put distinct, confident markers in the sands of our legal- cultural systems we will soon cease to be both successful and British.

    Multiculturalism is leading to balkanisation and disharmony. Only a strong confident assertion of our British laws, regulations and customs will provide the binding matrix that is desperately necessary to prevent us from further fragmenting into opposing, competing, squabbling factions. The best book that I have read touching on this is Jonathan Sack’s excellent “The Home We Build Together”. He cleverly compares the UK to a hotel with different values and life styles pursued in each room, and very little meaningful social discourse. Instead he skilfully argues, we need to find ways for each group to contribute to the common good.

    That common good must, I believe, be the established customs, laws and culture that we have long enjoyed here, and which immigrants journeyed to join. If they do not wish to join that enterprise then they do not belong here. The school should have remained open, as this is Britain, and not an Islamic theocracy.

    • dannybhoy

      Exactly right David, and at the moment we continue to enjoy the fruits of our Christian heritage. We are going to see great changes for the worse as secular humanism and fellow travellers continue to make concessions to the religion of Islam.
      Look around the Western world and tell me whether the Islamic influence has been for the betterment of society or its subjugation and eventual replacement. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords. We walk away from Him at our peril.

  • Albert

    They simply have so many Muslim teachers that the school couldn’t function safely during Islamic holidays when so many of them want time off. This is really quite baffling. Hasn’t the Headteacher, governing body or Harris Federation heard of supply teachers?

    This question seems particularly pertinent given that presumably a large proportion of the children are Muslims and are therefore out of School themselves, meaning you don’t need as many teachers.

    • The Explorer

      Suppose three classes of thirty pupils. If one group were composed entirely of Muslims, easy. But if ten were missing from each group, you would still have three groups of twenty. Split one group between the other two. Are they all doing the same topic? If not, what do you teach them?

      Presumably there are ways round it with careful foresight. But it’s a problem that didn’t used to exist at a time of greater religious uniformity. does exist now, and is going to intensify in the future.

      • Albert

        For a day you can cope with this sort of thing. Yes, you would combine groups and simply set them exciting activities. The children would love it.

  • Christianity IS and must remain as our guiding faith, the primary faith with all others taking a secondary place.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector does like issues that cover racial matters. It’s one of his keener interests you see, how Johnny Foreigner is getting along in this white, (notional) Christian country. The Inspector can accurately be described as a “Christian observer of racial traits evident among the peoples of God’s creation”. A rather unwieldy description often shortened (by others) to ‘racist’ for convenience (Not the Inspector’s – he can tell you that!). But that need not concern us today.

    Now, if we are going to rub along quite nicely in this multi ethnical whatever London has become, we need a bit of give and take. It’s their religious observance. Leave them to it. Anyone, staff or student, who doesn’t like the setup can go elsewhere. Perhaps a Christian college.

    It comes down to respect. If we are going to get ‘Mutually Agreed Apartheid’ up and running, we’ll need gallons of the stuff. Respect the muslim in England, and he will respect us back. Save a few terrorists who need to be caught and hanged. Lives are at stake, you know. Innocent lives in the main. So let’s keep the multi-cultural dream thing going as long as we can…Lord knows what will happen if it goes…

    Anyway, there’s far more important to worry about. Like not being fed halal meat unwittingly. Their meat for them. Not for us.

    Toodle pip!

    • dannybhoy

      It is not racist to hold views contrary to the politically correct prevailing view. That’s why our Lord said..
      “9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
      Matthew 7:9-11 (ESVUK)
      Under current thinking a child should accept the stone..

      • Inspector General

        Lots of silly stuff in the bible, Danny. Can’t quite relate those passages to accusations of racism. Think you’re on the wrong page tonight, old chap…

        • dannybhoy

          How dare you Sir!
          There is no silly stuff in the Bible, only bits that take effort and time to understand.
          The connection is that today truth is what they tell you it is and opinions can only be held if they meet the criteria of the Thought Police..

          • Inspector General

            Oh, right. Yes. Sure Matthew meant well. That will be it…

            Erm….what did you think of the weather today?

          • dannybhoy

            Foggy…

          • Inspector General

            Damn thunderstorm came from nowhere at lunchtime. BBC Weather didn’t mention it. Out in just a shirt too!

          • IanCad

            Enjoy it Inspector. Warm rain. The majesty of thunder.
            Winter will come soon enough.

          • Inspector General

            Indeed Ian. But we have Cranmers. The finest online gentlemen’s club around.

          • Pubcrawler

            Inclusive, too; no black balling here.

          • IanCad

            Some would bar Eustace.

          • Pubcrawler

            Do you have anyone in particular in mind? Enough of the vague insinuation.

          • IanCad

            Those who said they would block him; but I’ve forgotten who they were.

          • Pubcrawler

            Blocking is not barring. He is, subject to His Grace’s indulgence, at liberty to post here; but his right to post here does not cancel out my right not to be subjected to his crap.

            There is a cartoon I’m fond of:

            http://xkcd.com/1357/

            In this case, I have made the choice as an individual. Others may do as they please.

  • Uncle Brian

    Mike Rouse

    Hi Mike, I hope you see this. Just to let you know that, on my notebook, the whole comments thread is bouncing up and down all the time, just like it did a few days ago (last Friday, I think) until you fixed it.

    I haven’t seen anyone else complaining today, but then I can’t see all the comments on the thread.

    Thanks for whatever you can do.
    Brian

    • Inspector General

      Yes. Can something also be done about the biblical passages Danny is posting. Can’t make any sense of them, or him tonight, come to that…

    • dannybhoy

      It is stable on my iMac, but I get the same problems as you on my laptop running Windows 10

    • Uncle Brian

      Mike Rouse

      It suddenly stopped bouncing just a few minutes after I posted that earlier comment. As accurately as I can state it, I’d say it stopped at 8.01 p.m. BST, within a minute or so either way. Presumably it was something you did, so thank you!

  • IanCad

    No such problems in the USA.
    Separation of Church and State.

    • dannybhoy

      It will come here soon enough.

      • IanCad

        True Danny, but I have a soft spot for the CofE. SOC&S makes sense but what of our heritage? The deposit of faith so splendidly proclaimed in every town, village, and even hamlets?
        I am completely baffled as to what the solution should be.

        • Mike Stallard

          Allow me to suggest an alternative:
          Instead of a Godless Assembly, how about breaking the school down into its religious bits? Then there could be Christian prayers, Muslim Salat, No-faith: boring and endless lectures on Darwin, Hindu worship (good fun too!), Rastafar-I…
          So long as the people conducting the prayers and worship were licensed by the school authorities, this would bring an enormous richness to the school which, I suspect, at the moment is lacking.

          • Anton

            Then you’d get all sorts of tiny faiths demanding equal rights. Satanists might. Witchcraft, which is a spectrum of practices, certainly would. And what of the atheists?

          • James60498 .

            Not to mention Jedi Knights.

          • IanCad

            Mike, that word “License” concerns me. Those who issue licences write the rules.

          • Merchantman

            I like the bit we used to sing-
            ‘Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war,
            with the cross of Jesus going on before.’

        • dannybhoy

          Me too, because the England I grew up in from ’46 onwards shaped me and muyunderstanding of the world and also my values.
          I love my country and its history.
          The sad fact is though that nothing stays the same, and upheavals don’t happen overnight, They are the culmination of a series of small changes, barely noticed until suddenly there it is and – game over.
          I believe God’s faithful people can turn the situation around. God listens to our prayers and will act on them if they’re fervent and persistent enough, It is not inevitable that the CofE goes under or that Islam triumphs -it won’t anyway.
          We just gotta get busy talking to our Father in prayer.
          And some find that downright embarrassing…

  • Mike Stallard

    My grandsons went to school in Saudi and Abu Dhabi and neither is the worse for it. Actually my grandson is just getting over his break with his Jewish girlfriend!

    • The Explorer

      Was she Israeli, and did he meet her in Saudi?

      • Mike Stallard

        No. No.

        • The Explorer

          Had she been Israeli, could he have met her in Saudi?

          • Mike Stallard

            Are you all so frightened if Islam? I am not. It is one of the great three Abrahamic religions. It is also wrong and I am not attracted to it in the same way as I am, say, to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks or the Tao. But it is simply not as rich, witty or nice as Christianity. Sooner or later it will dawn on the Muslims of all stripes that Jesus Christ was actually the Son of God – as we all are anyway – that Tawhid has had its day and that religion isn’t just a matter of pretending to keep the rules out of fear of losing your honour. There is no line between us and the Godhead – the breath of life. Al – Lah.
            Having said all that, I want to say that a lot of Muslims are very welcoming, decent, trustworthy and, yes, likeable people. Very conscious too of the defects of their community – just as, I hope, Christians are too.

          • The Explorer

            However relaxed it all may become in the future, my understanding is that at the moment no Israelis are allowed in Saudi. Is that correct?

          • steroflex

            Nobody is allowed into Saudi! When I visited, I had a special Visa arranged through my son in law.
            The only exceptions are Muslims who are on the hadj.

          • Pubcrawler

            And refugees from Syria.

            Oh, no, hang on…

          • big

            The EFTA court and ECJ work very,very closely and it is in fact a supranational court there to impose EU law via the EEA agreement. i cant tell you about this on EURef blog because North blocked me ,like so many others who ask difficult questions…you’re correct he doesn’t mention it in Flexcit for good reason,because it blows a great big whole in his EEA/EFTA Norway option argument …the most recent case at the EFTA court involves Norwegian dock workers,concluded in April this year,the case involved freedom of movement and human rights !!!!! which Norway lost,i can’t give you a link, but if you do a search for EFTA court and Norwegian dock workers, you will find out more …there is an excellent case review on the Hellenic shipping news website,also in the norway news in English webste, ……..the simple fact is Norths wrong about this and he doesn’t whant to mention it.

          • big

            …..you see he hasn’t answered you, he’s batted you away with a glib answer…..the court findings may not be binding but the point is if you dont follow them as a country you risk suspension from the EEA agreement which means a massive loss in trade….so there really isn’t anything voluntary about it ….you may also want to ask him about the right of resevation? Norway has used it once in 2011,they then reversed the decision in 2013, again for much the same reason,you get suspended from the EEA agreement,of course you wont find this out in Flexcit because North has also conveniently left this out.

          • Mike Stallard

            ?????

          • big

            you know what i am talking about Mike…..dockers,Norwegian dockers.

    • bluedog

      Your point?

  • Eustace

    Isn’t this just typical of Christians?

    It’s OK for them to impose their religious observance on everyone, but the moment another religion dares to do the same, they start shrieking about religious freedom.

    NO religion should be recognised by the State. Want Christmas off work? Take a day of annual leave.

    Your traditions have nothing to do with anyone but you. Trying to impose them on others merely creates a climate of hostility and confrontation, which you’re quick enough to point out when another religious group does it, but which you yourselves are never guilty of – except that you are. Quite blatantly.

    It’s this kind of pleading for special treatment that makes you so vulnerable to attack. Your defence of “but it’s different when it’s us, it just is, really!” doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

    • Inspector General

      The majority of the UK identify as Christians. 2011 census.

      • Eustace

        You identify as a Christian, but it doesn’t mean you are one. Many here accuse you of being a Christian in name only, with your strange beliefs that cherry pick the Bible in support of your bigotry and discard every exhortation to mildness, forbearance and tolerance.

        I can’t say whether you’re a Christian or not because I have no idea what a Christian is. But I note the opinion of others who call themselves Christians and who claim you are not truly one of them.

        So who cares what the census says. The term “Christian” is a self-applied label covering a whole range of beliefs, from you to Jack to poor deranged Martin and on to the American gibberings of carl jacobs. Many “Christians” are perfectly at ease with equal marriage, and divorce, and women priests, and abortion. If you think you’re going to rally them around your bigoted and homophobic flag, you may be severely disappointed.

        • Inspector General

          One is a Christian, Eustace. Even if you, or anybody else and his dog denies it. Get over it, as you types like to say on the sides of buses…

          The future belongs to us. Not your lot, the grossly undeserving…

          The chaos your ways would bring…frankly, almost unimaginable. Humanity stuck up its own behind. Just one big party hosted by diseased drag artists, the sexually handicapped and gender denying psychotics until the wine runs out, or much more likely, our defeat at the hands of our enemies.

          Doesn’t mean you can’t have your fun. Do what you like, though keep it out of our sight. Really! Knock yourself out, live life to the drug induced heights, but don’t forget who’s in charge. Who’s really in charge. Who’ll always be in charge.

          It has to be like that, you see. It’s a secure, ordered life and society our way. And the next generation won’t be corrupted or abused by you and your pals and neither will they be turned against their own families.

          Now, live with it!

          • Eustace

            I live with reality, old bigot. The reality of a diverse society where Christianity is no longer in charge.

            I don’t need to tell you to live with it. You already do. Ranting and hurling abuse won’t change that fact. It just makes you a figure of fun.

            And as for your alleged status as a Christian, like I said, it isn’t up to me to say whether you are one or not. You seem to think you are. Others who post here disagree. Let’s just say the jury is out and it’s not looking good for the accused…

          • Inspector General
          • Eustace

            We all die, old bigot. You will too one day. And who will rejoice when you’re no longer among us?

            I’m sure more people will weep at the funeral of that unfortunate shooting victim than will shed a tear at yours.

          • Inspector General

            He wasn’t a shooting victim, was he. Young enough to be the Inspector’s son, he was. But he bought into the lifestyle YOU advocate. Something which is not innate but learned and offered to him and others like him. By people like YOU.

            Proud of yourself ?

          • Eustace

            I’m as proud of myself as anyone could reasonably be. And also innately gay.

            What killed this young man was the bigotry peddled by the likes of you. People who share your beliefs shoot us for being who we are, and traumatise the survivors to a point where they take their own lives, intentionally or not.

            The question should be “are YOU proud of YOURself?” Your kind of bigotry has driven thousands to an early grave. No wonder you’ve been driven to the margins of society and are now treated like the pariahs you once persuaded society to treat us as.

            And how lucky you never had children! Imagine the damage you could have done! Driving a complete stranger to suicide is bad enough. Driving your own child there might just be unforgivable.

            I wonder though, when your time comes and you slip into the oblivion of death, perhaps there’ll be a moment when you realise the futility of the hatred you heaped on others throughout your warped, damaged and clearly very lonely life. I hope so. Powerful feelings of remorse may make your last moments as horrible as the torture you inflicted on others. If you die with the taste of your own medicine on your tongue, justice will have been done.

          • Inspector General

            You’re slipping Eustace. Could this be you going down for the third time in your sea of madness…

            You’re coping, at the moment. Just. But there will come a time when you’ll no longer believe yourself the rot you post. You’ll have no one then to blame because there isn’t anyone to blame. Other than yourself and the lifestyle you thought would be such fun to buy into.

            You’ll be on your own then. Trying to keep it all together on your own. There’ll be no one else. Do you really think anyone would come to help such a snarling animal like you?

          • Eustace

            Snarling animal?

            A better description of you I could not have thought of myself.

            I’ve met some crazed Christians in my time, but you’re certainly one of the most vicious and hateful. Does that have something to do with the fact you never married? Enforced celibacy does strange things to people.

            Was it a choice? Or are you just so repulsive that nobody – man or woman – wanted anything to do with you?

            Based on our exchanges, I think I know which is the more probable of those two possibilities. They say that Christianity appeals to the most miserable in society – the rejects, the unloved, the utterly degraded – because even if nobody else will love them, their imaginary God will. So I think I understand where your faith comes from. Hold on to it, old bigot. If you ever start to have doubts, what will you have to live for?

          • Inspector General

            Are you HIV+? Does that explain the ‘you versus the world’ foaming mouthed rage we’ve all come to know from you?

            One has read about gay men in Brighton being ostracised by the gay community for that, and they finally move away. They have to – they’ll get no peace of mind by staying. Start afresh somewhere else where no one can throw cruel taunts at them. And you’ve made no secret that you’ve moved of late…

          • Eustace

            You see this is the kind of abusive harassment that, were it directed at someone like Jayne Ozanne, would probably get you reported to the police.

            In fact, I seem to remember you were absent from this blog for a while a few months ago, and then you came back with a cock-and-bull story about a virus. I’m now starting to suspect your absence probably had more to do with your computer being seized and searched for evidence of your online stalking activities.

            Case still pending, is it? What will you do when you’re banned from having an Internet connection? How will you fill your empty days then?

            You could always order the complete works of Michel Houellebecq, in translation of course, because clearly your intellect doesn’t stretch to any foreign languages. Tall tales of a creeping Islamic menace poised to take over the world and resisted only by a brave band of psychopathic white supremacists and fascists should be right up your street.

    • bluedog

      ‘ Your defence of “but it’s different when it’s us, it just is, really!” doesn’t have a leg to stand on.’

      Forget the theory, it’s what works in practice, and we still have the numbers. That gives us the capability to win and to determine exactly who lives within the British Isles and on what basis. It’s an exercise in raw power. The problem is the lack of will and intent to prevail. But the mirage of multiculturalism is being dispelled by reality and every ‘progressive’ policy introduced in the past twenty years is being shown up for what it is, another false god.

      • Eustace

        So now the truth comes out. Forget about justice and fairness and equality. All that matters is brute force.

        A true Christian if ever there was one. All that talk about loving thy neighbour is just camouflage for a very different set of beliefs.

        • Inspector General

          You silly, bendy thing…

        • bluedog

          Didn’t you know? To quote de Gaulle, France was made at the point of the sword, and a Christian sword too. Was Charles Martel wrong to defeat the Moors at first Poitier in 732? Should he have gone for reconciliation and been less offensive and harmful? Where was the ECHR when needed most? There is no justice and fairness in sharia. Walk hand-in-hand with your ‘husband’ through a Muslim banlieu and tell us how you got on. If you can still speak, from the grave.

          • Charles Martel should have gone for a “good disagreement” – graciously.

          • bluedog

            Of course, an off-site, multi-faith, mediation and outreach programme would have been the solution. After counselling by the 8th century equivalent of err, let’s not mention any names after the recent difficulties, one can envisage peace and love in abundance.

          • Eustace

            Hypocrite thy name is Christian. “Turn the other cheek!” says he. “The meek shall inherit the earth.” “Be reconciled with thy brother.”

            And all the while he’s thinking “bugger this for a joke, let’s beat the fear of Christ into ’em and show ’em who’s boss.”

            That’s true Christianity for you. The world’s most hypocritical, dishonest and insincere faith. Wolves in sheep’s clothing indeed! Lamb’s clothing, more like. Stained red with the blood of all those you’ve stabbed in the back and slaughtered in the name of peace and love.

          • bluedog

            ‘And all the while he’s thinking “bugger this for a joke, let’s beat the fear of Christ into ’em and show ’em who’s boss.”‘

            Took your time on that reply, didn’t you, Eustace? As for buggery, can we leave that to you and your beloved? It’s not the done thing in Christian circles, as endless posts in His Grace’s blog attest.

            From time time time you allow yourself to ego trip. We hear about your ancestors ‘trimmed’ during the Terror, your employees, your business and the trappings of immense wealth that is befitting the grand seigneur. Alas the beautiful wife, the charming children and the pouting mistresses are not part of this Elysian picture. So what is the foundation of this exalted estate in France, if the profile is true?

            It remains the achievement of your kings, the Capets and the Valois who did put France together, and ensured that France was a Christian kingdom, as it remains in the eyes of the French. Driving the Arabs out of France was not done by men of peace. You may talk about the secular, but its not working too well with that Muslim demographic of 10%. With 25% of your teenagers now Muslim too, secular France is being replaced with Muslim France. Ironic really, it was always the conceit of the Quai D’Orsay that France could be a Muslim power yet retain its Christian heritage. Today your country is beset by Muslim atrocities and the tourist trade which is so important to your economy is buckling as the numbers collapse. You need a new Martel, or a de Gaulle, a constable of France to take matters in hand.

            Still got the British passport? After the elections next year you may need it.

          • Eustace

            However my forefathers came by their possessions, I am not bound by their beliefs and actions. I bear no responsibility for their misdeeds and can take no pride in their successes. Sheer dumb luck put me where I am – put everyone where they are – and all we can do is deal with our respective situations to the best of our abilities.

            I can look at and learn from the mistakes of my ancestors, but they don’t control my life. Nor do they determine my future. Some of us are born into plenty while others have little, but ultimately we all make our own way in the world.

            The fact that my ancestors took advantage of a Christian system engages their moral responsibility, but not mine. The system in my day and age is a fairer one and by that system I must live. Little by little it will erode away advantages accrued in the past, which doesn’t bother me because who can weep for the purely imaginary problems of a generation not yet born? If they have to downsize, that will be their challenge, not mine. And if they curse me for not doing enough to maintain the family fortunes because I refused to be a slum landlord, or to engage in speculative investments that earn huge profits at the expense of the environment and the common man, well so be it. All these things helped build my inheritance. All these things were done by Christians. If I refuse to do them, let my legatees make of it what they will. And if they regret that I wasn’t Christian enough to rip off my fellow man on their behalf, more fool them.

      • But Christianity is not interested in raw power. At least, not raw worldly power. It’s weapons are of a different sort altogether.

        • bluedog

          ‘But Christianity is not interested in raw power. ‘

          That may be the case, but Christianity has depended on raw power for its spread, from the time it became the state religion of the Roman Empire to the days that European empires spread Christianity across the Americas, Africa and Oceania. In the context of the UK, there is still a state church, and a highly political one at that. The CofE yielded to SSM and some misguided CofE prelates went so far as to back the wrong horse in the Brexit race, presumably believing that Cameron would prevail.

          • Yet this very political marriage has shamed the faith. It created massive nominalism practically ensuring a worldly church hierarchy. It identified Christianity with all kinds of unsavoury political actions.

          • bluedog

            Your solution? Can the omelette be unscrambled?

          • No. And I would go as far as to say that what has happened is God’s plan. But that doesn’t mean true believers should approve of what has happened. Even less that we should happily embrace the mechanisms of worldly power that belong to Christendom. Christ’s way is not that of political sword wielding. His kingdom is by the way of the cross. It embraces apparent weakness. When reviled it does not revile. When it suffers it does not threaten. It turns the other cheek. It loves its enemies. It does good to those who exploit it. It forgives and does not fight.

          • bluedog

            This communicant likes to think he is generally familiar with the tenets of Christian belief, while struggling to practice them. But you seem to be making a case for pacifism. You will no doubt be familiar with the words below, which became the subject of a post by His Grace at the time of the speaker’s expulsion from his diocese.

            ‘Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.’

            Archbishop Nona of Mosul, now resident in Sydney, Australia.

            ‘You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles.’ What do you think he means by this sentence? What would be your advice to him?

          • I sympathise with the dilemma posed. We offer Muslims (religious) freedom on the basis of our principles, they remove our ours (freedom) on the basis of theirs (principles).

            My first and main point is that the church as an institution should not be involved in politics (that is politics with a capital ‘p’). I don’t believe in an established church but even disestablished churches should not be politically engaged. If preachers preach against unrighteousness (social or individual) it should be in the gospel context of calling for repentance for God’s judgement is imminent.

            A democracy permits its citizens to express their views and work for political change. Some Christians will feel called to engage in this and so Christian views will be represented and urged. They will no doubt urge equality before the law. However, this is different from any official church involvement.

            The archbishop is wrong to say we must be willing to contradict our principles. We must never do that. We must remember Christ’s kingdom is not of this world, if it were his servants would fight. Islam conquers by killing others we conquer by laying down our own lives. In so far as Christians defending their faith by violence is concerned I am certainly a pacifist.

            My advice to the archbishop would be to either remain as an archbishop pastoring the church, preaching the gospel to the world, praying that God will establish righteousness and deliver his people, and staying out of politics or giving up his bishopric, become an ordinary citizen and engage politically as such.

            Does my way seem weak. It does if we use worldly criteria. It doesn’t place confidence in political manoeuvring, power lobbies, or guns (horses and chariots) but in the Lord’s ability to keep and deliver his people.

            In any case, unless the churches devote themselves to living and preaching the gospel, refusing the temptation to be distracted by lesser issues there will be no true church to defend when Islam gains ascendency. What will be left will be a pagan parody of the church, against which Islam may well be God’s servant in judgement.

          • bluedog

            ‘So far as Christians defending their faith by violence is concerned I am certainly a pacifist.’

            Fine until the moment of truth. The point is that in the past fifty years the entire Christian community in the Middle East has either been killed, forced to flee or forced to live in submission to Islam. It can happen all across the West, as the Catholic archbishop of Vienna is warning. There are therefore two options for those of uncompromising piety:
            1) Accept the fate of the Middle Eastern Christians as Allah commands,
            2) Organise into a nation state, take a stand and defend the right to live as best one can according to Christian principles. It’s messy, it doesn’t please the virtue signallers, but it works.

            You may be disappointed to hear that this communicant is in para 2).

          • I understand. I know what I ought to do. I pray God will enable me to do so if so called.

          • bluedog

            He will. It’s called self-interest and it’s up there with compound interest as an irresistible force.

          • IrishNeanderthal
          • Enjoyed this link. Thanks.

          • Old Nick

            Ha, the arrogance of the professionally religious who do not understand the gentle wisdom of traditional Anglican spirituality

    • The Explorer

      Hello Eustace, me old china.

      Since I saw you’d said something to me lower down on the thread, I thought I’d unblock you for a bit to see where you’re at. Hope it’s worth it.

      “NO religion should be recognised by the State. Want Christmas off work? Take a day of annual leave.”

      Right, so secular organisation is in. Clean sweep of all existing holidays. Replacement by Yule Day, Labour Day, Linus Day: that kind of thing. No others allowed.

      So the problem highlighted by this thread would simply not exist. Can we take a day off for religious observance? Annual leave wouldn’t work because it’s not that way for teachers. Their holidays are fixed. They can, I think, have unpaid leave.

      So a. unpaid leave. b permission refused because one does not want to pander to superstition. Which would be your preference?

      PS. I’ve asked others to solicit your opinion, but mow I can do so myself. What’s your take on Michel Houlbecq’s ‘Suubmission’? You know, rather than sustaining a tough stance the French state crumples, elects a Muslim president, and you can’t hold your existing job unless you convert to Islam. (Houlbecq does concede that he telescoped the timescale.)

      • Pubcrawler

        ” Hope it’s worth it.”

        So, how’s that whole hopey vs experience…y thing working out for ya?

        • The Explorer

          Let you know when/if our Eustace gives me his views on ‘Submission’. At the moment, he’s tending towards the coy.

        • The Explorer

          I’ve switched him off again. I told him I would. Ignoring that, he’s sent a couple of new messages since then, but I’m disregarding them. I’d read them if I thought he had anything new to say, but it’ll just be the same old stuff, endlessly regurgitated. Personal abuse, plus how much he’s enjoying the collapse of Christianity. (Hoping of course, that it won’t actually happen because if it did it would deprive him of his basic theme.)

          • bluedog

            He’s certainly gone right off today. Must something in the croissants, or may be the coffee.

          • Eustace

            Oh you’ve read my replies alright. The denial is all part of you putting your nose in the air and pretending to ignore me. Only the anger is so great, it has to leak out somewhere. Hence the dismissive remarks about me to another commenter. If you really didn’t care, you wouldn’t react at all.

            Poor frustrated little Christian. Can’t rule the world. Can’t put one over on individual atheists. Thwarted at every turn. Humiliated by public exposure of your childishness. Where do you turn?

            To God of course. Or to yourself. As it amounts to the same thing, you’ll be busy pouring your frustrations into your own ear and forgiving yourself for the hatred and desire for revenge you feel. You’re like a self-cleaning oven, aren’t you? So I suppose we won’t see much of you until the pyrolising cycle is complete. I bet it generates a lot of heat. How inconvenient for you in these Indian summer temperatures I’m told the UK is experiencing at the moment.

      • Eustace

        Can’t keep away, can you? Thirsting to hear the truth, no doubt. But too proud to admit it.

        Ah Christians! Deep down they know how ludicrous their faith is, but they just can’t bring themselves to admit it in public. How I pity them.

        Anyway, on the subject of teachers’ leave, any teacher or group of teachers can approach the head of the school in which they work and request certain days off. Whether or not they’re taken as annual or unpaid leave would be a matter for negotiation.

        If the state wants to celebrate certain days as Bank Holidays then of course it may decide to make them coincide with major religious festivals in order to relieve employers of the obligation of undertaking tedious and possibly fractious negotiations with their religious employees.

        For example, 25 December could be Solstice Day and if Christians want to celebrate Christmas on that day, who could object? The days that coincide with Easter and Eid could be called, for example, Equinox Day and Abolition Of The Monarchy Day, and celebrated by all, for different reasons.

        That’s the only way a secular society can accommodate religious demands to control the calendar. Give the religionists what they want without giving them ownership. They won’t like it of course, because what they really want is control and power. Days off are just a pretext. Pandering to the pretext without ceding a centmetre of control will show them that the state is willing to listen and make reasonable accommodations, but in its terms, not theirs.

        And as for Houllebecq’s trashy novels, I don’t read airport fiction. You’ll have to ask someone else for a review.

        • The Explorer

          Houlbecq looks like a caricature of a French intellectual. But then, so do most French intellectuals. Look at Foucault. ‘Submission’ came out at the time of Charlie H. Admittedly the French State, all credit to it, has toughened up since then.

          The thing about it is the sheer vacuity of secularism (as depicted by a secularist) and its ideological inability to counter Islam. A dreadful book, and a dreadful warning of the consequences in the long term (as I said, he’s telescoped the time scale) of what will happen long term if secularism prevails in the short term.

          Anyway, now I’ve got your verdict (your mind closed to the unpalatable) I’ll switch you off again. Don’t call me, I’ll call you. If you do call me in the interim, as on this thread, I’ll simply ignore it.

          • Eustace

            I’ll translate your closing remarks as “Damn, he got me! Don’t I look like a right twat now? Oh well, nothing else for it. I’ll just have to stick my nose in the air and pretend I couldn’t give a damn. Difficult considering I’m shaking with tremulousness and rage. But the other bigots here will rally round and support me even though they know full well I’ve just been humiliated. So there’s some consolation in that. Not much though …. Grrrr!”

            The Explorer picks up his skirts, tosses his head and flounces back out of the room, where presumbly he’ll dissolve into a weeping heap, crying “The beast, how dare he show me up for the vain and vacuous flibbertygibbet I really am! Blast him, God! Zap him! Slap him down! I demand you take vengeance on him now! I, your creator and master, command this of you!”

            Count slowly to ten and take a deep breath, puir wee man. I’m still here…

        • IrenaSerena1984

          I suppose you could impose those changes by force on the (majority) non-churchgoing population that happen to love the drama of a Christian Christmas and Easter. And either hope they don’t notice or get the truncheons out.

          • Eustace

            The majority of the population just wants a day off work. If they also want to celebrate Christmas or Easter or Passover or Eid on that day, nobody will stop them from doing so.

            There’ll be no revolt. But if a few elderly and buck-toothed Christians want to kick up a stink, let them. A little light entertainment never goes amiss, and granny getting angry and using swear words is always good for a laugh.

          • IrenaSerena1984

            We’ll swap the Advent calendars, Christmas carols by the fire, St. Nicholas, nativity plays at school and a hundred other direct Christian traditions for… a day off. The majority of the kids will love it!

          • Eustace

            Have all the props and frippery you like on your day off. Go through the empty motions of every Christmas tradition. You’re free to do as you please with your free time. Just don’t tell everyone else what to do with theirs.

          • IrenaSerena1984

            That’s precisely the point. Public holidays with a collective participation in the spirit of the holiday are a fact of life. And if you asked the public whether they’d rather have “Christmas” season with all the collective Christian traditions or “Solstice day”, I know which they’d choose. But what the people want is often beside the point with aggressive secularism.

          • Eustace

            The public’s participation in the spirit of Christmas begins and ends at the commercial aspect of it. The most important things about it are the giving – and especially the receiving – of gifts. Christ is an afterthought, a stage prop. Nothing more.

            Far better for the state to stand aside from this orgy of self-interest and conspicuous consumption. Pander to the masses by making the day a bank holiday, of course. But refuse to condone what is essentially a celebration of greed by giving the holiday a name that recalls the religious festival it uses as a pretext.

            If the public doesn’t like the name “Solstice Day”, simply call it “December Bank Holiday” and be done with it. If you want to call it Christmas, go ahead. But if you were honest, you’d call it Greedmas instead.

          • IrenaSerena1984

            So no one sings nativity carols, attributes the sharing of gifts to the generosity of a Christian saint and explicitly observes the Advent with a calendar… right.

            The depth and extent to which people engage with the meaning of the season is irrelevant. What’s important is that the vast majority of the population value (and wouldn’t give up) these shared customs, and that these customs are explicitly Christian in origin and imagery. To actually be rid of Christmas as a collective observance you’d have to annoy the majority of the country.

            Your comments about what the state should refuse to condone and the masses that need to be pandered to reveal much about the way secular elitists see the common member of the public.

          • Eustace

            Your problem is that you only care about what you perceive as the majority, and only then because you think you’re a part of it. Everyone else can quite literally go to hell.

            A neutrally named bank holiday on 25 December would allow everyone to have a day off without feeling they’re being forced to observe a Christian festival. Those who want to celebrate it as Christmas will still be able to. Those who don’t will be able to take the day off with a clear conscience.

            Doing the same for every other major religious festival would allow space for other religions to coexist with Christianity inside a secular society.

            But that’s what you fear the most, isn’t it? A level playing field. When forced to compete with other religions, Christianity soon falls behind. I know all about how that works. I’ve seen a couple of episodes of “Rev'”…

          • IrenaSerena1984

            Who’s ever forced you to observe the festival? If you reluctantly follow the masses, that’s your problem. The majority – yes, by any measure of common sense – ceebrate of their own accord.

            The fact you keep referring to a ‘day off’ shows how disconnected you are from what the average person appreciates about Christmas. It’s a whole season. A season full of overtly Christian significance. And a season of traditions that most people wouldn’t want to go without. Now, I’m not aware of any stats out there to back up either of our assertions – unless you do, I can only reel at the implausibility of people exchanging centuries-old customs for a pittance.

            While we’re at it, let’s get rid of the flag, the national anthem, bonfire night and have the most unwanted and needless revolution in the history of the world.

          • Eustace

            No revolutions needed. Just rename some bank holidays, that’s all. Most of those who celebrate Christmas won’t even notice. Only a few Christian extremists will jump up and down in protest. And they can be largely ignored. They already are…

          • IrenaSerena1984

            And just take away the Cross linked to Christ and one of his saints from our flag too? How deep down the rabbit hole do you want to go?

            Plausibility disagrees with you. You’d have to rip out the larger chunk of the holidays’ essence, customs and symbols to secularise Christmas. People would do more than notice and, as usual, aggressive secularists would refer to “how stupid everyone is”.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Your traditions have nothing to do with anyone but you.

      On the contrary, traditions belong to communities and not individuals. We are talking here about Britain, not a vaguely defined geographic area with a rootless, deracinated population.

      • IanCad

        Wisdom.

    • Martin

      UE

      As usual you pretend you have no religion, of course you do, you have the religion of self-worship.

      And please stop pretending you’re an Atheist.

      • Eustace

        PDM

        That’s your faith, not mine. You stick a sock puppet over your own ego, call it God, and fall down and worship it.

        Christianity = narcissism. And you’re one of the worst cases I’ve ever seen.

        • Martin

          UE

          It’s pretty obvious from your posts that the narcissism is all your. You even reply to people who have blocked you, how narcissistic is that?

          And, of course, you continue to pretend that you don’t know God exists.

          • Eustace

            PDM

            Yes, I comment on the posts of those who say they’ve blocked me, and then they reply!

            Catching Christians out in a lie when they claim one thing, i.e. that they’ve blocked me, and then do another, i.e. read my comments, is actually a public service. Other users can see their dishonesty and draw the appropriate conclusions.

            And of course you continue to call your own thinly disguised ego “God” and demand obedience. But unfortunately for you and your desire to be worshipped, the comically repulsive nature of your self-aggrandizing little fantasy has the effect of makîng me laugh in derision rather than bow down In awe.

            Poor deluded Martin, at least you can still retreat further into your fantasy world and imagine people genuflecting before you. That will have to be your consolation, because it’s never going to happen in real life.

          • Martin

            UE

            Oh dear, have I hurt your feelings?

          • Eustace

            PDM

            Can an amusing little madman like you hurt anybody’s feelings?

            A parent’s feelings perhaps. Seeing one’s child turn out to be a gibbering religious maniac must occasion at least some feelings of regret and failure.

            As for everyone else, your entertainment value outweighs any offence you cause, so I can only imagine that other people laugh at you just as much as I do.

            It’s not often we see such a full-blown case of religious mania outside of the Muslim world. Not since the sixteenth century, at least. Now there’s a thought! Maybe you’re actually John Knox or Jean Calvin and you’ve stumbled through some kind of breach in the spacetime continuum. Or are the Buddhists right about reincarnation after all?

            Ommmm!

  • DP111

    The freedom they have at Chobham will last only as long as Britain is still Christian majority.

    Once Britain is Islamic in the not too distant future, there will be no such freedom.

  • chefofsinners

    It is wrong to say that DfE guidelines determine that absence for religious observance must be treated as authorised. This is true for pupils but not for teachers. Most teachers’ terms are set out in the document ‘School Teachers’ pay and Conditions’, which says nothing about religious observance. Academies are free to set their own terms and conditions.
    What this means is that this headteacher has chosen to agree the requests for absence. This is grossly neglecting his duty, which is to provide education for the 190 days of the school year. When you take a job in a school, you know you have to be there when the children are there. Simple as that.
    As a Christian I must choose whether to take a job in a shop, knowing I’d have to work Sundays. A Muslim should have the same choice with schools.

    • Eustace

      Just like when you open a hotel or a bakery, you know you have to serve all customers regardless of their religion, sexual orientation and politics.

      Simple as that.

  • chefofsinners

    If a Christian takes a job in a shop, he knows he will have to work Sundays.
    If a Muslim takes a job in a school, he can take time off when the children are there.

  • Dominic Stockford

    A few years back Good Friday was during the school term. I remember nothing like this happening (the other way round) then.

    Unlike Protestantism though, Islam and Roman Catholicism* are works religions. Thus ‘faith’ is not enough, and actions have to be made in order to ‘gain salvation’ (which thereby, therefore, ceases to be a free gift from God). Therefore, these teachers think they must do this to appease their god.

    *The sixth session of the Council of Trent. Trent was convened to deal with issues arising out of the Reformation. It is, as even Vatican II and the current Roman Catechism affirm, unchangeable dogma not just for the church, but for all within its pale. And it, the sixth session, says that those who affirm that a man is justified apart from the works of the law should be damned.

  • Martin

    And, of course, those Christians who work in retail have little option but to work on Sunday and get no protection. But Christians clearly aren’t a minority, or at least a minority in the eyes of the Left.

  • James60498 .

    Whilst I certainly don’t want schools run for the benefit of a minority foreign faith, I can’t get too worked up about this. Whether the school is right to have so many Muslim teachers is arguable but that’s another issue.

    Having seen the excuses used to close schools, either for the day, or close early, the amount of time whole classes spend watching irrelevant films while the teacher does whatever, and the number of uneducational trips that they go on, part of the school taking a day off is not in itself a disaster.

    I don’t know what the number is but I think someone below said it was 190 days a year at school. I often wonder how many of those days they are actually learning anything.